Minnesota Goodbyes at Opal Creek

Cultivate Clarity

IMG_6801On Saturday morning I met eleven strangers at the trailhead to the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center after driving my truck up many miles of a severely potholed road. As per usual, I was five minutes late and flustered, especially because it was my spazzy self who was supposed to be holding space for this group of people entirely knew to me and one another.

But as soon as our hiking packs were ready to go, we circled up and peeled away the first of many layers to come by sharing our names and something we’d been struck by on the way in. Oxygen. Wildflower-covered cliffs. The sense of soaring above it all. With that, we cracked the ice just enough to enter a weekend of grappling with transformation and all the grit and beauty that comes with it.

IMG_6833Just thirty hours later we returned to the place where we’d began, no longer strangers. Instead, we exchanged what some of the…

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